Carlos Blanco's A Time to Talk, released on August 4
"We are going to see clashes and protests in the streets in 2013, in spite of having the whole power in our hands"
Elation with Dolores
Dolores, the discontent General's intimate comrade, has sent again her poisonous calls for the autopsy of recent election. I swiftly go to her home, led by the militia guards who have turned the duty of guarding her into an incomparable devotion. They love the comrade because they have discovered that the revolution does not go against sensuality and the serene beauty of the red vamp.
I arrive early and find her in the bedroom adjoining the huge living room, lying face down, with a small towel covering those unreachable hills, while the masseur works out those copper-colored muscles that have caused so many hardships to that road to perdition that is the beautiful revolutionary back.
Meanwhile, she, having learnt of my presence, continues stroking "Sabroso," her black cat, and "Delicia," her stray dog that was rescued from a twist of the road as an expression of her deep social sensitivity, capable of reaching any living, vegetal, animal and even communal being. While the masseur massages, you can hear a purring sound, which you cannot tell whether it comes from "Sabroso" or from the comrade subjected to the stress of two hands that move unpunished over her discovered geography.
Dolores abruptly interrupted my thoughts: "Didn't I tell you that this wasn't a job for amateurs...Remember that in one of our last meetings I believe it was at Omar's- I explained to you that you weren't going to win; that Hugo was to pull out all the stops; and that a victory of yours for 300 or 400 thousand votes wasn't going to happen. Remember?" Yes, of course, I tell; but everything has been the result of a huge and continued fraud, a tilted playing field or traps; something that is visible for anyone who wants to see it.
-No, my dear. This is nothing but the same tilted playing ground the owners of the decrepit Republic use to apply to each other.
-That is not true I argue- It is true that the playing ground was tilted back then, but there was not intimidation, abuse of public funds and fear like those you have resorted to.
-But dear, don't you see that this is a matter of scale, not nature?
-False. Neither presidents nor main leaders were willing to alter the will of voters and much less the results; Chávez was...
Darling, you're lost. Look, it had never happened that the enemies were the ones to proclaim the transparency of our victory; we haven't had to defend the CNE's limpidity but you.
Not that much I stammer. The point is that nobody is questioning that Chávez has the votes, but there is a percentage coming from that continued fraud, from the CNE's indecency, from the official cynicism. Maybe Chávez is going to win anyway, but his victory is inflated in dubious terms, and this has political repercussions: if Capriles would have lost for 200 or 300 thousand votes, things would have been different.
-You still do not understand, my confidant tells me.
Meanwhile she goes to change her clothes and takes her body, her oils, her fragrances and her charms with her, wrapped in the robe that against the light confirms the existence of perdition.
WHAT IS AT STAKE. Dolores returns in her recklessly tight jeans. She seats on the carpet by my side, and The Chemist says:
-Let's get straight to the point, because your talk looks like a TV debate or a seminar, as foreseeable as boring.
He says this while he is putting his pistol on the belt that crosses his chest, and makes a gesture of impatience to Dolores, as if he was saying: "Are you going to talk or not?"
Dolores takes some honey to clear her throat and suddenly says: "We won and we will win again on December 16th; but those are dangerous victories, because we leave the other side facing a dead end, without any way out. To this dangerous situation, you have to add that Hugo inherited the disaster that made his overwhelming victory possible. Perhaps we are not heading to an economic package, but certainly to a rectification in the economy with social impact. Next year, we are going to see clashes and protests in the streets, in spite of having the whole power in our hands. This could turn our victory in a sh... victory, like Hugo called your victory in 2007.
I believe that her analysis was more or less sensible and I also understood that the next step was sounding out the possibilities of a serious dialogue or understanding around some issues. Hearing these insinuations, the comrade, now in battle mode, tells me:
-That is not what the most extremists believe. The other day, on the 5th floor of the ministry building, several officers gathered with General Frank, the Cuban with the highest command in the Fort (Tiuna), analyzed the scenario for which they are preparing themselves: "low-intensity and long-lasting war against a part of the population."
That's crazy. Nobody has plans in that direction on the democratic side.
Annoyed, Dolores say: "Don't talk me about a democratic side' as if we weren't democrat. We are, but in our own way. The streets are going to heat up alone, because the upcoming summer is long and warm; you don't have spaces, unless you adapt, and discontent among our ranks is to emerge, because now with Chávez reelected, revolutionaries believe that they have the right to demand; and that is precisely our greatest weakness."
-I told you the scarlet comrade continues- that the crisis would not be solved in 2012 but in 2013, but you didn't believe me.
YES SIR! SARGENT SIR!
According to Dolores, the thing is about military and will continue to be military: "The Party was going to fail with the 1 x 10 strategy to drag voters on 10/7; there was overlapping in the lists and the 10 of mine were the same as the 10 of others, a real mess. Only when the Militia took charge, we could sort out in 2 months what was bound to be a catastrophe; the 1 x 10 strategy did not admit reiterations and the vertical structure made it possible."
-You know, she warns, even though both government and opposition ranks are very discouraged, hectic times are ahead. Hugo will take some breaks; power will be distributed between Diosdado (Cabello) and Nicolás (Maduro) and perhaps we could use a laxative with a Constitutional reform like I told you some time ago... with communes and vice-president becoming permanent substitutes of the President in case of necessity.
She took me by my arm, gives me a supportive kiss between the neck and the fear and whispers: remember me, 2013 will be the decisive year of all these 15 years.
When I leave, I think about the times when people believed that history was already written for the years to come. Perhaps it was a long preface to what is waiting ahead. The communal country will not last because, as Bolívar said of every ethereal republic, it only has "philosophers as leaders...and sophists as soldiers." And this one does not even have that.
Translated by Álix Hernández
The can of tuna, formerly a fairly normal pantry staple, has long been missing from stores in Venezuela, especially the domestic brands. When tuna cans, imported or domestic, do occasionally show up on store shelves, prices have increased several fold.